Houseboat is universally used in the Indian state of Kerala and it is also called ‘Kettuvallam’ in Malayalam language. These have hatched dome covers over wooden husk. The traditional boat house (kettuvallam) is mostly using for promoting Kerala tourism.
All Houseboats are made up of ancient principles of traditional carpenters using anjili wood and natural coir for tightening all roofs and it’s become looks like beautiful traditional houses in the backwaters. There are houseboats with fully furnished single room, double room, Triple room, four rooms and five rooms.
Boathouse in a different of models and shapes have traditionally been the main means of movement of men and corporials in the Kerala backwaters since past days. In appropriate, the houseboats were used to transport rice and spices and other goods between alleppey (Kuttanad) and the Kochi (cochin) port. It was a three-day affair in those days. A normal house boat, which could be about 100 feet long, can hold up to 35 tons, about as much as three big truck can carry. For the VIP these boats even became comfortable living quarters. It was the important mode of transportation in marshy Kerala just because of its openness to the most areas. However, the scenario changed. Motorized road, rail and air transportation scored over the slow and staid country boat, with people opting for speed.
Current day houseboats are enormous, leisurely stunning alienscows worn for relaxation trips, and are in actual adapted vermin of kettuvallams of decayed times. The authentic kettuvallams were worn to carry spices and tons of rice. A general kettuvallam can hold up to 35 tons from Kuttanad to the Kochi port.
The kettuvallam is held well-balanced with coir knots. Not even a single nail is used all along the manufacture of the boat. The boat is made of lumber of jack-wood joined stable with coir. This is then glazed with aastringent black resin made from boiled cashew keens. With careful maintenance, a kettuvallam can lasts for generations.
A part of the kettuvallam was most covered with bamboo and coir to serve as a restroom and kitchen for the corps. Meals would be cooked on-board and augmented with freshly prepared fish from the backwaters.
When the latest trucks replaced this scheme of transport, someone found a new way that would keep these boats, almost all of which were more than 100 years age, in the market. By constructing special rooms to accommodate travellers as the part of tourism, these boats cruised forward from near-extinction to enjoy their present great popularity.
Now these are a familiar sight on the backwaters in Alappuzha, Kumarakom and kollam, there are as many as 1500 houseboats.
While changing kettuvallams into kerala houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products like Bamboo mats, sticks and wood of the areca nut tree are used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks for the flooring and wood of coconut trees and coir for beds. For lighting though, generators and solar panels are used.
Today, the kerala houseboat stay have all the critter comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, snug living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. Parts of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm open out to provide shade and allow great views. While most boats are poled by local oarsmen, some are powered by a 40 HP engine. Boat-trains - formed by joining two or more houseboats together are also used by large groups of sightseers.
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